A bad omen was finally rid of in the comics medium

March 26, 2020

by Avi Green

Early this year, a terrible editor/publisher at DC Comics who'd been in his role way too long, Dan DiDio, was finally dismissed from his position by the Time Warner staff.

You don't know how relieving this is, to learn that the man who engineered some of DC's worst “events” and company wide crossovers, who shunned morale for the sake of publicity stunts, has had his undeserved career put to an end. I know it doesn't guarantee their output will improve, if at all. But after all the damage DiDio caused, starting mainly with Identity Crisis, and its misogyny-laced proceedings, that's why his departure is good news, and he won't be missed. A man that morally bankrupt should not be welcome in the entertainment industry ever again.

But admittedly, does this mean DC will see improvement? After over 15 years, I sadly must conclude the answers is otherwise no. Jim Lee, who remains the only publisher in charge now, was associated with some of these past steps like darkening the DCU solely for the sake of darkness, repetitive company wide crossovers, and he's been chummy with people like Brad Meltzer, which sullies his image badly. How can you expect to mend the damage if the head of the operations has accepting views of such reprehensible people?

And that's why, at least for now, I think the best option would be for DC, much like Marvel, to end publication, at least until they can be sold to better sources with more responsibility. They've considerably damaged their business, and one of the worst ways they did it was tolerating the continued employment of now-ousted editor Eddie Berganza, who was accused of sexual abuse and harrassment at the workplace. With that kind of offensive behavior going on, should we be shocked they'd see nothing wrong with minimizing the subject of rape in Identity Crisis? They later tried to relaunch the now defunct Vertigo line as a means of conceiving politically laced books, including one by a now disgraced writer named Eric Esquivel, who was accused shortly after its debut of committing sexual abuse as well. They even hired a reprehensible person named Zoe Quinn, who'd first worked in video games, to script another shoddy item called Goddess Mode, and all these grave errors soon brought down the whole imprint entirely.

There's plenty more horrible missteps made during DiDio's overlong stay as their EIC and later publisher, such as mishandling reprints that wound up cancelled, mistreatment of right-leaning writers like Chuck Dixon, and, lest we forget, promoting the awful Geoff Johns to higher positions he didn't deserve any more than DiDio. I know Johns actually began working for them 3-4 years before DiDio fully came aboard, but it's clear his portfolio suited DiDio's vision, and that's why, under DiDio's regime, Johns and others with a similar crude approach were such a bad influence. Another poor influence was Greg Rucka, who's since gone on to embrace social justice tactics, and anti-sex censorship, recalling he led to a Wonder Woman cover by Frank Cho beingmodified so Diana's rear end wouldn't be in view. This despite how William Marston and H.G. Peter developed WW to begin with as a sex symbol, which means Rucka insulted the original creators by extension. As a result, I'm wondering why Rucka wanted any association with WW in the first place, if he doesn't respect Marston and Peter's visions.

The DiDio years also saw a precursor to Marvel's lurch to left-wing social justice, with the Atom, Firestorm and Blue Beetle getting race-swapped in the wake of Identity Crisis with characters of Asian, Black and Latino background. Even the Question was replaced by a woman, namely, Renee Montoya, the character who first began as a cast member of the early 90s Batman cartoon, much like Harley Quinn, and by the turn of the century was being worked into the DCU proper. But whereas she initially was depicted as heterosexual, Rucka turned her into a lesbian overnight in his laughable Gotham Central series. And soon enough, he engineered her transformation into a gender-swapped Question for a time, while Vic Sage, at the time, died of cancer. Admittedly, it's amazing Vic got such an otherwise respectable exit from the mortal plane, compared to the other shock value character deaths at the time, but it was still very PC-laden.

Most of these social justice tactics were eventually abandoned, but the damage they did in the long run was considerable. I mean, just look at where Marvel went with both race and gender-swapped takes on Thor, Captain America, Ms. Marvel, Hulk and goodness know what else. Even now, not all these PC takes on established characters have been reversed, and Marvel's still doing tons of the same tactics DC started in the mid-2000s. It's lasted well after Axel Alonso was dismissed and C.B. Cebulski took over the role of EIC. There may have been a few positives he presented, but the negatives far outweigh them.

And yes, if you know where to look, DC is still practicing ultra-leftism today, even after DiDio's sacking by Time Warner. If that's how they're going to operate, it's best if they were to close, just like Marvel will have to so long as this keeps up.

I'm sure both companies' creations may someday be bought by a more reliable business. But until then, if a closure is what it comes to, then that's the best way to go.

Copyright 2020 Avi Green. All rights reserved.

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